Of course, Chad Le Clos wearing his goggles around his neck like he’s an age grouper. What can I say? Goggles are expensive.
— swimnerd (@SwimNerds) December 13, 2012
The above tweet was sent out almost exactly 4 years ago today. It reflects exactly what Chad Le Clos said to Peter Busch in an interview with Swimming World Magazine back in November of 2011. When asked why he wears his goggles around his neck, Le Clos responded:
Yeah you know it is actually we have a weird story. When I was younger I used to lose a lot of things so my parents actually told me when I was younger like really young you know like 8-years-old they said well, “Chad, if you are going to lose another pair of goggles or a costume or something, we are going to stop you from swimming,” so I kind of decided to wear it around my neck because in that way I never lose them and it actually got so bad that I actually forget sometimes I’m wearing them. So like on the way home after like the World Cups I got my goggles on my neck and then you know asking people like Chad your goggles are around your neck and then I’m like yeah. I don’t know it just became the thing since I was young. I have been doing it for awhile now. It has actually become quite popular in South Africa, to be honest. A lot of young kids are trying it out.
Dylan Bosch provided some different insight into the ‘goggles around his neck’ thing. One thing I learned in college that seems to have stuck with me is the social learning theory. The social learning theory of criminology says that people learn from the community around them. Simply put: if you hang out with people that do drugs, there’s a good chance you’ll do drugs. Or, in this case, if you hang around people that win Olympic medals and wear their goggles around their neck, you probably have a good chance of winning Olympic medals and wearing goggles around your neck.
In this video clip, Dylan talks about Terence Perkin. Who the heck is Terence Perkin?
Here’s Dylan Bosch to answer all your questions.
Terence Perkin won the Silver medal in the 200 Breast at the 2000 Sydney Games for South Africa. He was also coached by Graham Hill. He also wore his goggles around his neck.
I had not a clue about any of these things. In my research I came across a fantastic blog (www.swimhistory.org) from Kobus Scheepers chronicling South African Swimming. If you want to learn more about Terence Perkin, you should read this interview with Graham Hill talking about him, it is really worth the read. Yet another fantastic piece of swimming history that even a bunch of die hard swimnerds didn’t know.